Most of you know I haven’t submitted a progress report for several weeks. Mostly due to the work being repetitious most every week. We have been working on the locomotive jacketing for several years and recently more than in the past. I can now say that project is all but complete as volunteers install small trim pieces around various protrusions from the boiler and elsewhere.
Much work has been done on the tool car. Workers have been installing the 480V connectors at each end of the car along with researching the best route for the 480 cables.
A fuel tank for the generator was designed in house and fabricated by a local tank company. It is yet to be installed.
Our three transformers have also arrived and await installation under the car. Currently , safety barriers have been designed for the two doors on each side of the car. They are currently being fabricated. They will allow safe viewing from inside the car with the main doors open.
Many of you know, during our last steam-up, two wheels derailed due to the track being pushed to far out of gauge at the first curve out of the engine house. Eight curve blocks were fabricated and installed this past Saturday. We rolled the engine and tender out of the engine house and through the curves with no mishaps. The entire crew was positioned along side of the rail to watch for any signs of derailment.
The foundry crew continues pouring brass/bronze for Cumbres and Toltec axle bearings. They also are making items to be sold in the store.
Vandals broke through our fencing and graffitied the side of the tool car. We obtained some silver paint from Rust Bullet and repainted the damaged areas. Some time in the future it will receive a final paint job.
The floor on the inside of the car has been painted with slip-resistant paint. The interior walls and ceilings were painted several months ago. The paint was once again obtained from Rust Bullet. Thanks to Allison for all her assistance.
We are finally about to get our 8th Street crossing repaired. Work is scheduled to begin the middle of September and should only take between four or five days to complete.
For those interested, our Open House will be held on September 24th this year, (9-4). There is no charge for attending, but as usual, we accept donations. Live music, free hotdogs and drinks will be available. The store will also be open. The cab will be open to see as well. That’s always a big draw for people to see.
On our new website, we have just put up another “Go Fund Me” campaign dedicated to the completion of the tool car. It must be Amtrak approved, so everything is quite expensive. As I have said before, if you have any Benjamins burning a hole in your pocket, please send them our way. We’ll put them to good use! Send donations by PayPal on the website, and state what it’s for, or send checks to NMSL&RHS, PO Box 27270, ABQ, NM 87125.
No news yet as to when we will be doing more steam-up testing on the 3/4 mile spur up to the main line. There is a considerable amount of red tape to be resolved.
As always, Keep on Steamin’,
Rick Kirby, CMO NMSL&RHS